Countries That Backed Russia At UNGA To Be Spotlighted At Rights Summit

GENEVA, March 7, 2022 — On Wednesday the United Nations voted to “deplore” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demand the withdrawal of Russian forces. Now the four states that voted with Russia and against the historic resolution—Eritrea, Belarus, Syria and North Korea—are coming under fire and will be featured at the upcoming Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on April 6.

Tatsiana Khomich, sister to the imprisoned Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kalesnikava, will speak on Belarus, while Hassan Akkad, an award-winning Syrian filmmaker and former political prisoner, will address Assad’s ongoing abuses. Timothy Cho, a two-time defector from North Korea, will also discuss what drove him to flee.

These speakers will be joined by 14 other champions of human rights from around the globe, who will tell compelling personal stories of arrest and imprisonment by the world’s worst regimes before an audience of diplomats, journalists and activists.

Sponsored by a coalition of over 25 NGOs including Liberal International and Human Rights Foundation, the annual Geneva Summit will take place at the CICG in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 6, 2022.

Click here to register for the event. Participation is free, but registration is mandatory.

For media inquiries, please contact Pat Rose at

The Geneva Summit’s remarkable 2022 line-up includes:

Timothy Cho, North Korean human rights activist and two-time defector, who survived torture and two imprisonments before escaping to the UK where he works with the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea.

Hassan Akkad, Award-winning Syrian filmmaker who was arrested and tortured for protesting the Assad regime, and had a face-to-face audience with Bashar al-Assad before escaping Syria.

Tatsiana Khomich, Belarusian Coordination Council Representative for Political Prisoners and the sister of imprisoned opposition leader Maria Kalesnikava.

Leonid Volkov, chief of staff to imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who ran Navalny’s campaigns for Mayor of Moscow in 2012 and his bid to get onto the presidential ballot in 2018.

Mariam Claren, Daughter of Nahid Taghavi, a German-Iranian women’s rights activist sentenced to more than ten years in prison for propaganda activities against the regime.

Hamlet Lavastida, Cuban artist and Amnesty International recognized prisoner of conscience released in late 2021 on condition of exile.

For media inquiries, please contact Pat Rose at


Human Rights

Defecting from the Hermit Kingdom with Ahn Myeong Chul

Ahn Myeong Chul, North Korean former prison guard turned defector and human rights activist, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Ahn Myeong Chul: Good afternoon, my name is Ahn Myeong Chul. I would like to thank

Political Prisoners

North Korea: Escape from Starvation, Torture, Persecution with Jihyun Park

Jihyun Park, two-time North Korean escapee and human rights activist who survived a North Korean forced labor camp, addresses the 13th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On life in North Korea: “North Koreans are stripped of their individuality

War Crimes

Surviving the Siege of Aleppo with Waad Al-Kateab

Waad Al-Kateab, Syrian refugee, activist and award-winning filmmaker, addresses the 13th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On eruption of 2011 Arab Spring in Syria: “The idea that people would fight back was something I’d always dreamed of, but


Authoritarianism: The Police State and Its Victims with Philippe Robinet, Randa Kassis, Dicki Chhoyang, Regis Iglesias Ramirez, Rosa Maria Paya

A panel including Minister for Development and International Relations for the Central Tibetan Administration, Dicki Chhoyang; Franco-Syrian politician, journalist, anthropologist, and leading figure in the opposition to Bashar Al Assad’s Syrian regime, Randa Kassis;  Cuban pro-democracy activist and member of the Coordination Team of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), Rosa